Monday, July 11, 2016

Again...and Again... and Again... and Again...

There's this fantastic song by Casting Crowns that I've already quoted in previous blogs. I know this because it's one of my favorite things I've ever heard and because I feel like I've written this before. I have this sense of deja vu lately, like all of this has happened, and it's happening again. It's probably because all of this has happened, and it's happening again.

If we are the body
Why aren't his arms reaching?
Why aren't his hands healing?
Why aren't his words teaching?

"Innocent" is such a powerful word, isn't it? Just as powerful as "guilty". Just as powerful as "truth".

The truth is, there's no such thing as innocent. The truth is, not everything is black and white. The truth is, nobody understands anything unless or until it affects them personally.

One of my readers asked me to write about the body of Christ, and how we are all a part of that. It's hard for me, because I try to keep this blog as non-"religious" as possible. I will admit that I'm a Christian (don't you just love how I said that like it's a confession, because so many people that say those words treat people in ways that contradict its very nature?) I'll admit it, but then I'll also be quick to tell you that I'm NOT innocent, that I'm NOT judgmental, and that I'm NOT the one with all the answers. Or any of them, most of the time. Just some ideas here and there. And right now, there are so many ideas swirling around in my head, it's like the movie Twister.

People are murdering people. And I don't understand why.

What is it about the color of a person's skin that makes someone else assume that person is guilty? What is it about the color of a person's skin that makes someone else feel frightened, or defensive, or superior, or entitled, or any number of other instantaneous thoughts, fleeting or otherwise?
What makes white people so incensed by hearing the words "Black Lives Matter"?
What makes anyone think that their God loves them any more than anyone else?

I grew up listening to vinyl (kids, ask your parents) and when the needle would get stuck and play the same thing over and over, I wouldn't just sit there and listen to it. I'd immediately get up, pick it up and put it back down, or 'scootch' it over even though that wasn't the best plan, but I couldn't stand just hearing it again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again... you get the picture?

Yet, I feel like we're stuck in this endless loop right now. A loop of hatred, of retaliation, of revenge, of bitterness, of mistrust, of betrayal, of despair. It's deja vu. I've written this before because I've felt this before because this has happened before.

For those of you who consider yourselves Christians, we are to be the body of Christ. He did not judge, he did not show partiality, he did not kill. He loved, and he gave, and he healed, and he taught, and he was killed for it. Sometimes, you do absolutely nothing wrong and you're killed for it just because someone doesn't like who you are, even if you're the savior of the world.

Because they're afraid.

The Jesus you think you know doesn't look like those pretty white boy pictures you see in your churches. He wasn't a white, long-haired, clean-cut guy with a pretty white robe. His skin was probably just as dark as most of the people in those neighborhoods where you drive through and lock your doors.

Romans 2:11 and Acts 10:34 both say that God does not show partiality/favoritism. Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman at the well, offering her living water, when Jews didn't speak to Samaritans, much less male Jews to Samaritan women. Jesus railed against hypocrisy in Matthew 23 for pretty much the entire chapter, talking about how those in power weren't the special snowflakes they thought they were.

So again, if we are the body... why aren't we healing those who are emotionally sick, why aren't we reaching our arms out and embracing those who look different from us, why aren't we teaching our children that racism is one more of the evils of this world? Why aren't we walking towards justice and peace? Why aren't we using our voices to speak up for the oppressed as Jesus did when he was on the Earth?

Stand up, pick up the record needle, and fix the problem. People need to stop murdering people. People need to be heard. People need to be loved. People need to be rescued.

What can we do?
What can YOU do?

Stephanie Jean